Government celebrates Van Niekerk's 400m victory at RIO 2016

AUGUST 15, 2016

The South African government has congratulated track sprinter Wayde Van Niekerk for setting a new world record in the men’s 400 meters category at the Rio Olympics.

This, as the 24-year-old won the 400 meters race, winning the country’s first gold medal at the Olympics currently underway in Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil.

Van Niekerk, who won the 400 meters in an astonishing 43.03 seconds, is reported to be the first man to win the Olympic gold from lane 8.

“Government congratulates Wayde on his outstanding achievement. We celebrate his astounding feat. His victory is one that broke the long-standing world record of Michael Johnson from the United States of America.

“He has made South Africa very proud and we wish him well for his future endeavours,” said Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Acting Director-General Donald Liphoko.

Government has also expressed pride in all South African participants for carrying the country’s flag high at the Olympics.

The country looks forward to watching South African participants bringing home more medals, said Liphoko.

Free State Premier Ace Magashule also congratulated Van Niekerk -- who studied Marketing at the University of the Free State -- on his win.

“On behalf of the Free State provincial government and the people of the Free State, I wish to congratulate van Niekerk for representing both the country and the province very well at the Olympics,” said Magashule. – SAnews.gov.za